Desensitizing and Controlling Content in Online Environments

In her article “Better Online Living through Content Moderation”, Melissa King proposes “using content control features is not guaranteed to stop the effects of abuse, they do help and their use should not be disparaged and discouraged.”  Content control can help users that suffer from PTSD that need to “avoid topics and people that trigger their anxiety”. King brings awareness to “cultural opposition” towards suffers that are viewed as weak and overly sensitive. Online aggressors who invoke attacks, blame the victims stating they should “just deal with it”, regardless of the context or situation. King believes “Content control is helpful in limiting the worst of these attacks, which themselves can cause PTSD if severe or long-term enough.” Melody Hensley, a feminist who claims Twitter gave her PTSD A major argument against content control is that people over-exaggerate the “abuse and harassment they receive” and that they should be “less sensitive”. King claims these arguments create an invalid comparison to exposure therapy, “a type of therapy designed to combat severe anxiety through gradual and controlled exposure to its source, to inure an individual to these triggers and lesson the disruptions they can cause.” Opponents misinterpret “Exposure Therapy” as a means to “hurl insults and threats at someone with the hope they somehow come out more mentally durable”, King considers not only a mishap in content control discussions but also in the understanding of human psychology. King discusses the other argument against content control, which is the belief that no real harm can come from words said online. She claims that the same “ignorance that yields metaphors to exposure therapy” fuels popular cultures idea that...

Control Features in a Digital Space

King, Melissa. “Better Online Living through Content Moderation.” Model View Culture. N.p., 14 Oct. 2015. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. King “graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a BA in European History” who is also an “aspiring video game developer and storyteller” ( King bio). Melissa King King believes that “there is no such thing as an invalid reason” to use control features because “nobody should be required to read or listen to content if they do not want to” ( King par. 1). One argument against King’s position is that the user should become ” less sensitive” which is relative to the “Exposure Therapy” (King par. 3). King’s statement against the argument is that “someone suffering from PTSD is likely to have their trauma magnified rather than reduced when faced with triggering content” (King par. 3). Another argument against the use of blocklists states that it forces “one’s internet experience to the whims of another” (King par. 8). King responds by saying that not allowing blocklists requests “that the abused spend more time with their abusers” (King par. 9). Out of all the online attacks, “women especially are considered fair game for these type of attacks, particularly women who tread in areas that are considered male-dominated” (King par. 11). PTSD The purpose of this article is to persuade users online that control features are mostly meant for moderating abusive attacks instead of limiting user’s actions. The intended audience are for people who uses online programs that enable interactions and the creator of these programs. This article is useful because it provides information of how a large population of online...
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